Looking back

Hooligan says farewell with a tribute to its proud, not-so-proud moments

Posted: Thursday, December 18, 2008

June 15-21, 2006: "Nefarious nights"

Hooligan kicked off its first issue by examining the indecision of inebriates at bar break and the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board's investigation into the Viking Lounge for alleged "excessive nefarious activity." The bar-break crowd presently seems to be much tamer during the winter than in the summer for obvious reasons, but overall it doesn't seem as easy to watch a fight break out outside the Viking as it did in 2006.

"Sometimes it's crazy and there's all kinds of fights," Juneau resident Tahir McInnis was quoted saying in 2006. "Some people get in a fight every time they go out. Usually we have fun, and nobody gets arrested."

Aug. 3-9, 2006: "Alaska's sexy tourists"

Traveling male exotic dancers visited Marlintini's Lounge in late July of 2006 with a show titled "America's Loverboys." Hooligan sent an all-male reporting team to delve into the mysterious life of naked cowboys and stripping science-fiction heroes.

As reported, the show "was more than a couple of guys shaking their yard snakes in banana hammocks - it was an evening filled with skits, choreographed dancing and costumes, as well as plenty of skin."

Exotic dancer Robert Heart described the men in the profession as needing more theatrical skills than their female counterparts. The audiences are much different at male and female strip shows, he said.

"Guys are like lions," Heart said. "They look at girls like wounded lambs. Girls come out to actually have fun."

Aug. 10-16, 2006: "Quest for the throne"

The Hooligan article that may have created the biggest stink around town was an experimental pub-crawl that involved critiquing the commodes of the downtown bar scene on a Monday night. Seemed like a good idea at the time but Tuesday was a long day in the office.

Along with a description of each facility were an "added attraction" and a recommended drink for each location. Among the most memorable was the public facility inside Merchants Wharf across from the Hangar, which, thankfully, is finally under renovation two-and-a-half years later.

It's description read, "Uncrappable. So unprivate, you may as well buy a 60-second slot on primetime television, broadcasting your deeds for all the world to see. There is no chance a self-respecting man would utilize this facility. If you choose to do so without fear, kudos to you, friend."

The "poopularity" of the article even led to a sequel that took place a year later in the Mendenhall Valley.

Aug. 24-30, 2006: "It's all fun & games"

Unless a publication wants to be associated with the Antichrist himself, it should avoid putting a dildo on its cover. Many people voiced their displeasure and some advertisers pulled the plug after the Hooligan examined the world of "pleasure parties" in Juneau where women gather in homes to purchase adult-novelty toys. It was revealed that these aren't your grandmothers' Tupperware parties.

"Times are changing, and sex toys are OK," said Keri Reyes in 2006, a mother of four that was selling the adult products for extra cash to help with boat payments. "I'd much rather help women stay with their partners and keep it exciting, than have her or him stray."

Apparently items such as the "Butterfly," the "Flipper," the "G-Wiz," and a shaving cream known as "Coochy" still weren't OK with some of the more conservative readers in town.

Jan. 25-31, 2007: "The dog king of Douglas"

Every dog has its day. Gus, a storied yellow Labrador whose taxidermied head is mounted on the wall above the bar at PP's Douglas Inn, had his week of fame in the Hooligan in the first month of 2007. A fighter and a lover, this dog apparently lived a more outrageous life than many humans. He chased bears, fought dogs and was shot three times and run over four times. He became infamous for his signature trick of taking a dollar bill in his mouth, walking up to the bar at the Triangle Club and placing his paw on the counter to purchase a hot dog.

Nov. 8-14, 2007: "Juneau karaoke: at the creation"

Hooligan scoured the depths of the karaoke scene in the capital for months to bring to light the genesis of this prolific hobby of Juneau's nightlife circuit. Popularized in Japan in the 1970s, karaoke has apparently been around in Juneau since the mid-1980s and now bar patrons can find some place to publicly perform this shameless act just about any night of the week.

"I've been blessed and shocked at the same time, all these years, at how many people come out to sing," heavyweight karaoke host Louie Rogers said at the time.

Dec. 6-12, 2007: "Up in smoke"

The Juneau bar scene changed forever on Jan. 2, 2008, when the final pieces of the city's clean air ordinance went into effect and there was no more smoking allowed in the bars. Hooligan monitored the situation and highlighted the paranoia that led up to what turned out to be a pretty mellow transition.

"People go to bars to drink, to socialize, dance, listen to music, watch events - they don't go to bars to smoke," said Wendy Hamilton, tobacco program coordinator for the National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence in Juneau, speaking to Hooligan prior to the ban.

Its been nearly a year since the ban and people are still going to the bars; however, the cigarette litter problem on the downtown streets has become somewhat obnoxious.

Dec. 20-26, 2007: "Holiday wish list"

Few of the Hooligan's pleas for help have been answered a year after writing a public letter to Santa. Alaskan beer is still generally expensive, recycling is still tougher than it should be, housing prices are still hovering around insanity, airline tickets have nearly doubled and we're still waiting for someone to throw a big concert.

April 24-30, 2008: "The hole in the heart of downtown"

Since a fire gutted the Town Center Mall at 213 Front St. on the warm summer Sunday of Aug. 15, 2004, a hole has been left in the heart of the downtown-shopping district. Hooligan was curious about the status of the property but had difficulty getting a straight answer so it decided to offer a few tongue-in-cheek suggestions for what could fill the hole that has acted as a garbage pit in recent years. Some of those suggestions included an outdoor zoo for problem garbage bears, a downtown landfill, an aquarium to house a killer whale, and the be-all and end-all outside-owned seasonal jewelry store. It seems like it could also be a cool place for an outdoor screening of "The Big Lebowski."

Stories Hooligan never got to run for one reason or another

There have been hundreds of story ideas pitched for the Hooligan throughout the years. Many never made it to the drawing board. Here is a smattering of what was idling in the cannon before we ran out of gunpowder.

A day in the life of Carlos Boozer:

The Hooligan has often fantasized about having someone shadow Juneau's homegrown basketball hero for 24 hours. State titles, national title and Olympic medals aside, he's been genuine with the Juneau Empire over the years and the Hooligan has wished it had the resources to report on what life in the National Basketball Association is really like for a guy from Southeast Alaska. We should all dream. Utah Jazz in the finals anyone?

Townes Van Zandt:

Anyone that appreciates the legend of Mr. "Flying Shoes" himself would be curious about his concert in Alaska's capital. The Hooligan has oft heard rumors of the visit and inside sources tell tales of the charismatic, gentle and vulnerable soul that once visited Juneau. Reports of the actual concert are spotty, yet they seem consistent with his persona, depicted in the enduring documentary "Be Here to Love Me."

Juneau's gym culture:

Somehow, in some meeting, in some way, it was discussed years ago to compare and contrast all of Juneau's workout spots. It always seemed to be too complicated of a story for too many reasons.

Anything about Mac Dre, 2Pac, Mac Mal, Young Lay, et al:

It's difficult to justify writing a story about 1990s Bay Area rap in Juneau, Alaska, but it was always a consideration. If you know, you know; if you don't, it's a fruitless discussion until you do.

South Franklin Street:

The Hooligan has wanted to pinpoint the spot in town with the highest ratio of arrests per block. Where do you have the highest statistical chance of being arrested in Juneau? We believe it's likely South Franklin Street, but that would be "junk" or "soft" science, as our biologist friends would say.

20 things to do in Juneau before you move (or die):

If there were one issue the Hooligan has been most curious about it would be the exodus of Juneau's youth. What's really going on? In the vein of the "1000 Places to See Before You Die"-type books, we thought it would be comical to pinpoint the 20 things for "short timers" to do and see in Juneau before they decide to eventually move. For example: Alaska Folk Fest weekend at the Alaskan.

Out in Juneau:

By many accounts, it appears to be more difficult to be an openly homosexual man in Juneau than it is to be a lesbian. Alaska is one of a few states to have a higher population of men than women, yet Juneau apparently has more women than men. The so-called "Douglas Women" seem to have little problem acknowledging their lifestyle while it appears disproportionately difficult for Juneau's gay men to be able to embrace their lifestyle in the 49th state. In possibly the bluest city in this red state, how much bigotry truly exists?


Rumor has it that there is an OxyContin and opiate epidemic in Juneau, yet it seems to be highly anecdotal and there are few statistics being leaked to the media to address or back up the issue without putting ourselves on the line for some libelous accusations.


You haven't really lived in Juneau until you've seen a landlord fleece a vulnerable man for hundreds of dollars for absolutely abhorrent living conditions while getting a rental deposit in cash and using a recycled envelope as a receipt. True story. We forget, what was the Affordable Housing Commission actually supposed to do again?

Best bartenders:

We kicked around the idea of doing a pseudo-contest on the "Best Bartenders in Juneau," but that always seemed a bit too subjective because there are some really great ones around town.

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